The delegate bag – hello old friend!

I attended an event last month at BioCity in Scotland. BioCity is an incubation hub for startup life sciences businesses and it is a fantastic place. Innovation is evidently at the core of everything done at BioCity. Well not everything. Here I met an old friend, one I’d not see for a while: the delegate bag.

My old friend the delegate bag!

My old friend the delegate bag!

Are you still around Mr Delegate Bag?

Now let me tell you about my old mate the delegate bag. There’s a reason we’ve not seen each other in a while. I cut him loose way back in 2001 and we’ve not been close since then. I see him occasionally at particular types of events. I don’t offend him by ignoring him so I take him in hand and pass a minute or so perfunctorily engaged with the stuff that he thinks is important. But it rarely is. You see it’s normally one dimensional and pretty flat. It’s not tailored for me. It’s basically spam but I smile and then when he’s gone I just discard the information he’s imparted. Sometimes thought I keep the pen that I could have simply picked up from the registration area.

You see, it’s not just that he’s full of irrelevant info but I know that he has wasted the valuable time of the organiser in charge of the event. My peer has spent hours with him in the lead up to the event. And I know she could have been doing more valuable stuff. So I leave him before I get too upset.

I look round and see that most of the attendees aren’t as rude as me and carry him around like a monkey on their back. Some of course have the same reaction as I do and his boring info is cast aside. I start to relax and then I think about the waste of paper and I get annoyed again!

The paperless event

On every other way the event I attended at BioCity was great and of course there is much more to any event than the delegate bag.

The event was a feeder event for Venturefest Scotland which I am attending on the 8th September and I was delighted to receive an email on Friday which included the paragraph: Bye, bye delegate bag!!!!!!

“Venturefest Scotlandis a paperless event – you won’t be handed any paperwork when you arrive other than your badge.  To get the most out of the day, be sure to download the Venturefest app to your smartphone where  you will find the full programme, details of where the individual workshops are taking place and more information on speakers and exhibitors.”

What is the point of the delegate bag?

They hark back to a time when speakers just spoke and didn’t listen. When we handed out the same information to attendees without tailoring. And when planners spent too much time on logistics and administration.

I’ve never really understood the purpose of a delegate bag. It seemed to add very little value to my attendees or supporters and in fact when I decided to stop giving them out at my events back in the early 2000s no one missed them and they should remain in the last century. In know it’s hard, treating an old friend like this but I’d happily never cross paths with my old mate again.

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Published On: September 7th, 2015 / Categories: Conferences & Congresses, Events Marketing /